Monday, 29 June 2009

Falling behind

My friend, Pauline, reminded me by email today that I had not updated the blog for ages. I was surprised to see that it is nearly ten days since I last had anything worth writing about.

Mike and I went away for the weekend and our friends, Paul and Sue West looked after the farm for us. They used to have alpacas near here but have moved back to Wiltshire. It was relaxing to know that everything was in good hands and we had a really lovely break, and enjoyed competing with our dogs, even though we did not actually win anything. It was good socialising with old friends too.

All the alpacas are within sight of the house now with the soon- to- give birth ones just outside the kitchen windows. We move them to a paddock with a shelter at nights. We have seven all born within the last fortnight and they look very sweet especially when they pronk around at dusk. They seem to be playing tag and get quite boisterous until one of the Mums gets fed up with them and calms it all down.

Today we made up some tags and tied them round the necks of the above babies. It is easy to identify them at first because they stick with their mothers but once they start mingling and getting more confident it can be more difficult, especially with the white ones who all look similar.

Misty (our Suri) had a lovely boy cria but one of his ears was bent and sort of inside out, so we followed advice and taped it into shape and sure enough today when we took the tape off his ear was quite normal.

We are very happy with this year's off spring and all of them seem to have great conformation and lovely fleece.

We are getting quite a few enquiries for alpacas at the moment and have even made a few sales, which is encouraging given the current financial climate.

At least one of the hens seems to be getting behind the barn again and we are not finding the full complement of eggs every day so once again we expect to find a stash sometime. Mike is trying to think of a way to keep the straying chicken away from the back of the barn which we have identified as a danger zone. A couple are still laying eggs in Alario's hay rack and some lay in the barn.

The remaining cat, Polly, has taken to coming for the morning walk round the fields with the dogs. She keeps up very well and sometimes runs or walks on the grass and sometimes on the fences. She has an amazing sense of balance. She rushes up to visitors when they come into the farm and tries to get their attention by purring or meowing.

Tomorrow we are going to vaccinate the herd and clip their toe nails so we need to get a really early start to avoid the heat which is expected.

Well - I expect there will soon be some more births to report, but for now that's all folks.

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